Democrat Andrew Gillum has come out as bisexual in his first TV interview since being found in a hotel room with a gay escort.
Emotions ran high for the former Tallahassee mayor – who ran to be governor of Florida in 2018 – during an appearance on The Tamron Hall Show on Monday night.
“I don’t identify as gay, but I do identify as bisexual, and that is something that I have never publicly shared before,” Gillum said.
In March, the rising star of the Democratic Party made headlines when he was discovered in Miami in a state of reported drunkenness with a sex worker who had allegedly overdosed on crystal meth.
Shortly after the story broke, Gillum checked into a rehabilitation centre and sought help for alcoholism and depression.
"Everyone believes the absolute worst about that day. At this stage, I don't have anything else to have to conceal… I literally got broken down to my most bare place, to the place where I wasn't even sure that I wanted to live. Not because of what I had done but because of everything that was being said about me,” he explained.
"What was most hurtful was this belief that I was somehow living a lie in my marriage and in my family. That was the most hurtful to me. Because I believe we are all entitled to mistakes, and I believe we are entitled to those mistakes without having every other respectable and redeeming part of our lives invalidated.”
The father of three – who narrowly lost the Florida gubernational race to Republican Ron DeSantis – was supported by his wife, R. Jai, who knew about her husband’s sexuality before they got married.
“So many people just don't understand bisexuality,” she said. “Bisexuality is just something different. I just believe that love and sexuality exist on a spectrum. All I care about is what's between us and what agreement we make.”